Ginger Bee Limited: Artfully Crafted Beeswax Products creates handmade candles in Norwood, Ohio. We interviewed owner, Amanda, about her small business and the meaning behind it. Meet Ginger Bee at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your business.
A few years back, I was working on my beekeeper cousin’s annual honey-harvest crew; we were driving back from a bee yard to the honey house, and we hatched the plan for Ginger Bee. I heard myself say, “Yes! I’m going to start a business using our beeswax!” Ginger Bee's mission is to offer beautiful, high-quality, practical beeswax home-goods.
What drew you to your craft?
Ginger Bee exists because I needed a creative physical way to express myself, I have access to large quantities of beeswax through my cousin's beekeeping business, and beeswax is an amazingly beautiful substance to work with and to consume.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
My favorite candle that I produce is a light-bulb candle, which I pour using the very first candle mold I ever made. It's ironic... burning the thing that replaced the need for candles. Get it?!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect.
What is your creative process?
I walk though life evaluating whether every-day objects would make a good candle shape. Where is it's center of gravity? Could I choose the perfect wick for that shape so that little-to-no beeswax is wasted when the candle is burned? If I find it entertaining or charming, but would anyone else?
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Firstly, local artists and makers can choose to provide art and products that, in-turn, support other local vendors. In this way, there are many layers of individuals and businesses who financially benefit from successful local artists and vendors. Secondly, local artists and makers often offer a fresh, innovative, or alternative view the world; as they live in their neighborhoods and communities and work locally at small and large businesses, they enhance the atmosphere and help maintain a balanced social dialogue. Artists need accountants and car mechanics... car mechanics need artists and accountants... yes, and I realize that many mechanics are also artist. You get my point, though, right?
Why do you love doing what you do?
Candle-making is a very methodical and meditative process. Much of my other work in life is based on analyzing, interpreting, teaching and discussing. I enjoy making candles because I can go an entire session of candle-making and not have to explain anything to anyone.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
Do it. Start your business. There are many women AND men out there who are willing to mentor you. Our mid-west culture has trained women see men as default decision-makers, approvers, and risk-takers, but this is a pretense that all of us, women and men, are learning to discard. Utilize your network of female business leaders, but don't miss out on working with men. ...and celebrate the little accomplishments, even if that's just opening your business's Instagram account and consistently posting for 30 days.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
The cost of living. I was born and raised in Northern Ohio and, after having lived in Japan and India, have lived in Cincinnati for over ten years. It be may be a bit more challenging to discover, but Ohio holds so many interesting people, traditions, landscapes, and movements... and it's so cheap! I recently stayed in Boston for a few months and returned to Ohio with a grateful heart for my ability to afford a rich life in Cincinnati without having to work my ass off.
Meet Ginger Bee at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!